Ray Bradbury, one of the all time great authors of speculative fiction, passed away today at 91 years old. Where most genre authors are known for one great work, Bradbury goes down in the record books with several iconic titles.
His debut novel The Martian Chronicles weaves an intricate tapestry of life on Mars for the first colonial settlers. Fahrenheit 451 is one of the most influential science fiction novels of all time, speculating on a future where information and opinions are controlled by the destruction of every book in existence. Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Halloween Tree are seminal works in the canon of youth horror and two of the best Halloween-set novels ever written.
Bradbury wrote for television, theater, and film. He composed over 400 short stories and novellas. He saw great critical and commercial success in his lifetime and used his fame to fight for literacy and libraries.
The man is an icon and he will be missed. I believe his own words serve as a fitting tribute. via Letters of Note
I discovered there was a typing room where you could rent a typewriter for ten cents a half hour. I moved into the typing room along with a bunch of students and my bag of dimes, which totaled $9.80, which I spent and created the 25,000 word version of “The Fireman” in nine days. How could I have written so many words so quickly? It was because of the library. All of my friends, all of my loved ones, were on the shelves above and shouted, yelled and shrieked at me to be creative. So I ran up and down the stairs, finding books and quotes to put in my “Fireman” novella. You can imagine how exciting it was to do a book about book burning in the very presence of the hundreds of my beloveds on the shelves. It was the perfect way to be creative; that’s what the library does.